Girls for Progress

How Much Has Changed Since You Were Young?

As a child, we relocated several times before settling down in a small Arizona town.  I’ve spent most of my life in the west coast, did a lot of outdoors activities and traveled once internationally as an infant.  We otherwise traveled only within the United States, camping, site seeing, and just enjoying time together as a family.  I admit I’m only in my mid-thirties so there is plenty of time to seek as much adventure as I can handle.  Either way I have lived well, happy, independent, and enjoyed the many changes along the way.

Remember When Social Media Was Nonexistent?

Girls For Progress

My life in the military community is where I have experienced the most change, and growth.  The most apparent changes however (and I’m certain anyone close to my age or older can agree on), is how much has changed around us!!!  Do you remember when everyone had pagers, or even better when cell phones looked like bricks???…When a navigation system was simply a map stretched open across the dash or the do…doo…dooo…and ringing of dial up Internet connections; and let’s face it, there were days when social media and selfies were nonexistent!!!!!!!

Can We Handle The Unknown?

Change brings about even more significant concerns in the way our society behaves.  From generation to generation, our beliefs, and our openness to how the world is evolving are very different.  We are never without controversial topics, fears, debates, worries, and gaps in understanding any one area or collective occurrence.  It started to make me sad and a bit unsure of what we can expect…will our futures be prosperous, how much more will change, and can we handle the unknown???  Luckily, the changes in technology have also become an exciting way to invest in new ideas, virtually witness the good that still exists in people, and has also helped find a way to still be hopeful that our future and generations that will lead us are very well prepared to handle the task.  My fears have turned into pride, and excitement as I have been blessed to truly witness the greatest glimpse of hope!  Hope from a particular person, an act, and gesture…hope from a generation of amazing YOUNG people that are barely scratching the surface of what’s to come…what we can look forward to for our own children, and the best part is…we no longer have anything to FEAR!!

Now, what am I possibly referring to???  What could I possibly know, or have witnessed that you may have missed???

Lemon “Aid”

“Aid” because she donates a portion of her money to benefit kids with cancer.

There is this amazing young lady, Aleena Valdez, who has created a change in our world that is sure to get us all back on track!  This young lady started changing her community and giving back at the age of 11 years old.  She started a small lemonade stand to raise money to donate to children with cancer!!!  She wanted it to be something bigger than just lemonade and through the request of her parents for a loan, she put a presentation together with costs of supplies, etc. and presented it to her parents to make it all happen.  She then changed the name of her charity to Aleena’s Lemon “Aid” spelled with “Aid” because she donates to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where she has been
making a significant difference with her generosity, time, and pure selflessness.

And it gets better…

Fast forward a bit and you’ll discover Girls for Progress, which is an event created by this same brave, intelligent, inspiring, empowering, GIVING, and SELFLESS young lady!!  She started this event after she met her amazing mentor Amy Jo Martin.  Aleena received help with questions about her business, was able to attend Inbound 2015 in Boston, which is a big conference where she would get the chance to hear her mentor speak.  She was interviewed for a part of her mentor’s speech titled “Pretty Damn Rad” and it was about empowering girls to be and see themselves as more than just pretty but pretty damn rad, pretty damn smart.  This event opened Aleena’s eyes to the empowerment she could have on other young girls and she “loved each message and wanted to spread it and thought that girls her age could benefit from something like that.”  With that memorable experience, she created Girls For Progress; in hopes to bring an empowering conference to her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, and share it with other girl’s ages 11-15 years old.  These young ladies could expect and experience a “variety of different inspiring speakers from across the nation, fun activities, and the ability to make new friends that hopefully want to make an impact on their communities also.”

This Amazing Event Has Three Main Goals:

1).  To help young girls be aware of their social surroundings.

2).  To inspire girls to make a difference.

3).  To build lifelong support for each other along the way.

This conference allows young ladies all over to gain confidence to lead, become entrepreneurs, and learn from amazing speakers who are experts in a variety of fields.  Girls For Progress wants girls to believe how powerful they are and how much of a difference they are capable of making regardless of their ages.

What a gift!!!

It brings tears to my eyes knowing that the future of my daughter is in the hands of some amazing young people!  Aleena Valdez is a force to be reckoned with and I truly encourage us all to take a look into the amazing ways she is changing her community, our children, and our world.  She gives me hope that our future is in the best hands, and the confidence that my daughter will grow up with amazing role models!!!  Young people all over are receiving a true gift from the amazing things Aleena is doing.  They all will learn how to give selflessly of themselves, to be confident in themselves, and have the belief that they have the power to make the same changes and impact that Aleena has made.  This incredible event is inspiration for anyone capable of seeing the value in the lesson she is instilling on so many hearts and minds!  This is an opportunity to learn, grow, and give back!!  We should all take the time to experience the impact this young lady has on our society and share this gift with our own children and communities.

The next Girls For Progress event will be held in Austin, Texas this June and it’s a no brainer that it will be nothing short of AMAZING!!!

For details about the next conference, to donate, or to learn more check out: and


Written by Angela Uebelacker